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 05. The Lands
The Bard
 Posted: Jan 7 2014, 03:43 AM
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When all of the beauty turns to pain When all of the madness falls like rain As long as we crash and we collide We will be gorgeous, you and I.
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locations
The world of Ga'leah is composed of several Kingdoms each with their own geographic features, cultures, and benefits. More importantly, each has been impacted differently by the Blight and the subsequent Walking Starvation. In lieu of member groups, we ask that you select a home kingdom for your character. It is this homeland into which your character will be sorted. This is not, however, the place in which your character must remain or even the place in which your character's canon story may take place. It is merely the Kingdom that has been most important to their development as a character before entering into our game.

Allutheria

Caelum

Caerleon

Calladahn

Dokrayth

Mahrielle

Solhara

Xehacora



Travel Between Kingdoms


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The Bard
 Posted: Jan 7 2014, 03:44 AM
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When all of the beauty turns to pain When all of the madness falls like rain As long as we crash and we collide We will be gorgeous, you and I.
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Allutheria
When the war between the Gods and the Faeries finally came to an end, the Fae had been defeated and driven into a void from which they could have no contact with Ga’leah, the land they had once called home. Using their magics, the Fae were able to create their own land in their own image. Allutheria became a place of wonders populated by oddities that would have had no place in Ga’leah, where time had no effect even on the human beings who found themselves transported there.

Although some freeholds of independent Fae with no political affiliation remain through the land, over time, two factions came into power in Allutheria. The White Court and the Red Court. The White Court fancied itself to be aligned with morality and goodness. But they were not the righteous beings they liked to fool themselves into believing they were. Many among the White Court would justify terrifying acts of violence and cruelty if the end result was considered worthy enough. Presided over by the White Queen, they are the bitter enemies of the Red Court and spend much of their time simply attempting to foil the efforts of their adversaries in a petty battle for dominance over Allutheria.

The Red Court, on the other hand, is one where pleasure and desire rule the day. They have no morals and no rules besides revering those who preside over the Red Court like the Red Queen herself. Anything can and will be justified if the act or the result is considered entertaining enough. Perhaps the only true goal of the Red Court lies in their hatred of the White Court and their desire to destroy it and its morally conceited White Queen.

Although the Gods originally sealed Allutheria away from Ga’leah to prevent the interaction of the Fae with humanity, over time and with concentrated effort, the Fae were able to wear away a hole in the fabric of reality. On the Isle of Affalohn in Lake Lindai, they created a portal between Allutheria and Ga’leah through which all manner of beings could pass. To protect the gateway and ensure that the Gods did not succeed in banishing them once again, a minor truce between the Red and White Courts was forged and the Order of Fate was founded. A secret society of Fae from both courts, as well as a few from freeholds within Allutheria, were placed upon the Isle of Affalohn to guard the gateway against the Pantheon and to keep careful records of what Fae were allowed entrance into the human world. Passage through the gateway requires a healthy contribution to one or both courts, and carrying any magical item from Allutheria into Ga’leah is strictly forbidden. Magical items are confiscated, cataloged, and kept under lock and key by the Order unless or until they are needed to serve the interests of the Fae of the Red or White Court.

It is believed that the Isle of Affalohn is the only gateway between Allutheria and Ga’Leah, and until very recently such a belief would have been founded in fact. But the blight that destroyed Caelum, the home of the Pantheon, is slowly destroying the world of Allutheria as well. It has begun to wear away new portals between the lands. In the Yarrow, the enchanted forest that spans part of Calladahn and Dokrayth, an unstable gateway has formed deep within the woods allowing Fae and wondrous creatures to escape into the Yarrow unchecked by the Order of Fate. Another much older portal allowed a human girl to carry the Blight with her into unaffected portions of Allutheria where the Walking Starvation has begun to take hold. Worse still, it is also rumored that some magical objects have escaped, objects that could create more gateways or cause great harm to humanity. Through these unprotected gateways, the plague that decimated Dokrayth has begun to ease its way into Allutheria, transforming some of its wondrous residents into terrifying creatures and infecting others with the Walking Starvation. Currently, the Red and White Court believe these rumors to be lies spread by the freeholds to cause unrest…but the freeholds themselves know differently…



Caelum
Caelum was the mountaintop home of the gods. A vast kingdom located in a place no human or faery could access without the permission of the gods themselves, it was home to the most ornate and magnificent structures in all of Ga’leah. Each of the gods maintained a home in Caelum, even if they were not often likely to reside within it.

Long before the Blight was known to Ga’leah itself, it made itself known to the Pantheon. It came as a sentient darkness that swallowed everything and left nothing behind. Though most of the gods were wise enough to flee, some remained behind. These deities have not been seen since and are considered gone for all time.

Since the destruction of Caelum, none have been brave enough to attempt to pierce the black fog that still blankets the home of the Pantheon. Worse, perhaps, the fog itself seems to be growing thicker, stronger, and continues to slowly spread down the mountain and towards the home of humanity where its rape of Ga’leah is sure to continue.



Caerleon
Caerleon was founded on land contributed by Dokrayth and Calladahn. On that land, a great castle and city were built. Constructed to be impenetrable, Caerleon was meant to stand strong and firm as a beacon to the four kingdoms the High King had united under his rule.

The castle of Caerleon was home to the High King of Ga’leah and his wife, the Queen. In addition to housing a large staff to tend the rooms, guard the castle, and keep the gardens, the High King’s most trusted knights, those who served at his Round Table, were given rooms within the castle to utilize when serving the court. Ambassadors and Advisers from the four kingdoms were also given rooms within the castle where they served the court in one capacity or another.

Surrounded by fields and sparse forests, Caerleon was often the site of vast markets, large tournaments, and joyous festivals. The city itself was home to several temples to the Gods of Ga’leah and although many merchants constructed shops within the city, there were many more who made a monthly trip to Caerleon to ply their wares.

After the Queen’s infidelity was discovered and the first vestiges of the Walking Starvation breached the city walls, everything within Caerleon changed. The High King was incapable of destroying the corpse of his best and most beloved knight. Instead, his adulterous wife took up the sword Excalibur and stood shoulder to shoulder with the Knights of the Round Table to drive the plague back and secure the city. Afterwards, the King fell into a deep depression and was rarely seen by the court. In his absence, the Queen declared herself High Monarch of all Ga'leah. The plague keeps a steady presence at the gates of the city where knights and common folk alike strive to keep the peace and hold the Walking Starvation at bay. Although small victories are achieved and the infected are dispatched…there are always more the following day.

The High Queen’s hold on Ga’leah is tenuous with many questioning her right and ability to rule. There are rumors of unrest at court, and the Queen’s most trusted allies have come to fear for her life as much as they fear for the Blight that has descended upon them all. Some even blame the Queen herself for the blight, suggesting that it was her infidelity that caused the gods to remove their favor.

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The Bard
 Posted: Jan 7 2014, 03:45 AM
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When all of the beauty turns to pain When all of the madness falls like rain As long as we crash and we collide We will be gorgeous, you and I.
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Calladahn
Calladahn was once a peaceful, pastoral country of farmers, the source of much of the livestock and crops consumed by the people of Ga’leah. It’s fertile land, gently rolling foothills, and vast fields were perfect farmland and pasture.

On the north, Calladahn is bordered by the magical forest known as the Yarrow. To the south lie the majestic and seldom scaled Hyadies. The Queen maintains careful control of the Calladahn side of the mountain pass, exacting great tolls on any who attempt to pass between Calladahn and Solhara through the mountains. The Maritanis sea lies to the east, while to the west can be found the capitol of Ga’leah, Caerlon, and the Zaffre River.

After the tragic death of the King, the Queen took over the day to day rule of the country until the young princess was of age to claim her birthright. Although the Queen pretended to be kind and just, many of the citizens of Calladahn questioned her methods. She placed nobility in charge of vast sections of Calladahn, taking a cut of the livestock and crops without making payment to fill the royal larders. Still, she had to maintain the trust of the High King, so her actions against the people were subtle and not as terrible as many believed they might have been.

The loss of the princess came as a great blow to the people of Calladahn, many of whom believed that her death was not accidental. Though many sought the High King’s intercession, no true evidence of murder could be brought forth and their fear of the Queen was enough to keep the people of Calladahn from succeeding in garnering the High King's help against the Queen for the outright murder of her stepdaughter.

When the High King fell and his power was no longer felt in the kingdom of Calladahn, the Queen took drastic measures to preserve her life and that of her 'adoptive' son, who in truth had been born to her from a marriage previous to that of the King of Calladahn. Thrine, the capitol of Calladahn, was placed under strict martial law. The gates were closed, the walls patrolled, and none who did not serve a purpose or swear their undying fealty to the Queen were permitted entrance.

Even some of the Queen's most trusted servants were not allowed within the city, but were instead dispatched to smaller cities within the kingdom to safeguard them against the Walking Starvation or quell the rebellion of the common people. Such was the case with the Yarrow town of Wyldgate where a new Sheriff was appointed just weeks ago and rumors of the princess’s return from the dead have fueled hopes of revolution.

The Walking Starvation has begun to edge its way into Calladahn, gaining more and more ground as time passes. Whether it falls in a manner similar to Dokrayth remains to be seen, but many of the common folk have little hope so long as the Queen remains on the throne.



Dokrayth
Dokrayth was once the wealthiest and most learned country in all of Ga’leah. Their treatment of merchants and lenient taxes upon merchant guilds made them a favorite home of the tradesmen of Ga’leah. It was in Dokrayth that the best armor was forged, the loveliest garments crafted, the softest fabrics woven. Many merchants from the other kingdoms of Ga’leah would come to Dokrayth to train with one of their master craftsmen. Many others would come to the kingdom to earn certification by the Dokraythian guilds to prove their skill and then returned home to ply their trades amongst less competition.

Bordered in the north by the magical woodland of the Yarrow and the South by the mythical River of Tears, Dokrayth is a kingdom of sweeping meadows and peaceful forests. Most of the population resides within towns or cities built to aid the craftsman with their trades. It was not uncommon to find a town in Dokrayth where Blacksmith, Ferris, and Silversmith worked side by side in friendly competition. This is, perhaps, why the kingdom was such prime pickings for the Walking Starvation.

Dokrayth was a place of little suffering before the Blight came to Ga’leah. Save for one of the most well-known tales in the kingdom, that is. According to legend, the beloved daughter of a former king was cursed by a jealous Faery. The Princess fell into a magical sleep from which there was no waking. At first, she was placed under constant guard at Briar Keep, but over the century that passed since her curse...the princess has been all but forgotten and the Keep has become little more than an abandoned, haunted shell of its former glory.

The kingdom of Dokrayth was the first to fall to the Walking Starvation. It had no defenses against the ravenous hordes that descended upon village and city alike. Some escaped into the neighboring kingdoms of Caerleon, Xehacora, and Calladahn, but many more lives were lost. Though the King and Queen lost their lives defending their kingdom, the Princess was sent to Solhara on a mission of diplomacy before the Blight came to Dokrayth. Amid rumors of the desolation, her royal guard has done what they could to keep her in Solhara where they hope that she will be safe. The Princes of Dokrayth were similarly spared, sent away from Dokrayth by their parents with orders to reclaim their land from the Walking Starvation when the time was right.

Small pockets of survivors cling to life within the decimated country with the largest concentration of them residing in the small town of Aeswick along the Dokraythian edge of the Yarrow. How long they can hold out against the afflicted remains to be seen…



Maritanis
Maritanis is the kingdom of the sea. It surrounds the land of Ga’leah and extends in every direction for unknown lengths. Even the small islands that can be found off the coast of Ga’Leah are claimed by the kingdom of Maritanis, who unlike the other kingdoms of Ga’leah, is home to two separate realms.

Above the waves, pirates rule. No ship can sail across Maritanis’s waters without running afoul of the Pirate King. The pirates dock their ships and bury their treasure on the islands they lay claim to. While they sometimes ferry goods and people if the payment is worth their while, they also attack and pillage the coastal cities of Ga’Leah to line their pockets with treasure and resources.

Below the waves, Triton rules both the Merkind and the ocean itself. For the most part, Merkind attempt to live their lives apart from the rest of Ga’Leah. Created by the Coming Tide to safeguard the oceans from human or Faery harm, they take their god given duties very seriously. The humans they are forced to have the most contact with are the pirates who attempt to share their domain. But the Merpeople have an intense hatred of the pirates, one that has caused loss of life and decades of ill will between both peoples.

There is only one place where the differences between Pirate and Merkind, ocean and land, are put aside. The Sanctuary is an island whose origin is shrouded in mystery. A place where magic prevents violence of any kind, it has become a place where land and sea can meet for peace talks, trade agreements, and more.

The Blight has had a devastating effect upon the oceans. The Walking Starvation has proved infectious even among Merkind, some of whom have been turned into flesh hungry monsters who hunt for food both above and below the waves. Other monsters have also begun to show themselves, causing terrifying shipwrecks for the pirates and massive loss of life for both realms of the Maritanis. Perhaps the most frightening of these is a massive, supernatural whale dubbed 'Monstro' who ravages pirate, Merkind, and human without discretion.

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The Bard
 Posted: Jan 7 2014, 03:46 AM
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When all of the beauty turns to pain When all of the madness falls like rain As long as we crash and we collide We will be gorgeous, you and I.
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Solhara
Solhara stretches from the western side of the Hyadies Mountains to Mahrielle. Warm temperatures and underground rivers have created a vast desert where life is often a struggle. Nonetheless, many nomadic tribes call the arid country home.

A handful of oases can be found where the underground rivers come above ground for short stretches. These oases are often the cause of battles over ownership of their life sustaining resources. The largest oasis in Solhara is one created by the Green Man for the Powhatan people. According to the legends, if the Powhatan tribe was to be driven from the land by someone else seeking ownership of the oasis, the water would dry up and the plant life it sustains would die. For this reason alone, the Powhatan retain control, and often trade access for other useful items or services.

Solhara is known for providing two valuable exports to the rest of Ga’Leah. The first are the precious metals and gemstones they mine from the western side of the Hyadies Mountains and the labyrinthine network of underground caverns that run miles beneath the desert country. The Sultan allows the tribes of Solhara to live the way they choose and fight amongst themselves as much as they like, but only in exchange for the young, able bodied men they send to work within the mines for several years. These men are not always members of the tribe, but often slaves taken captive during a battle with another tribe. Their slavery is assured by magical means, means which few have been able to escape. The gold and jewels mined by these slaves are what Solhara uses most often in trade with the other kingdoms of Ga’Leah in exchange for food and services they are incapable of providing for themselves.

The second export of Solhara, an export most coveted by the rest of Ga’Leah, are their mercenaries. The unrest amongst the tribes of Solhara, as well as the dangerous landscape, has crafted warriors of unparalleled strength and skill who lack the moral compass of most knights. They are available to anyone with enough money and most will do anything with no questions asked. Even the Sultan of Solhara keeps many of such sell-swords on retainer to do his dirty work.

Currently, the Walking Starvation has yet to move past the Hyadies into Solhara. However, the plague sweeping the rest of Ga’leah has greatly limited their trade. Food and other goods are becoming very hard to come by, even within the capital city of Zabier. Riots are spreading throughout Zabier and the battles between the tribes of Solhara are quickly escalating into bloody wars. Although they are free of the plague, Solhara is not free of the effects of the Blight…



Xehacora
Xehacora has a beautiful, but unremarkable landscape of wooded wetlands, sweeping grasslands, and white sand beaches. The mythical River of Tears, a legendary product of godly heartbreak, forms its northern border with Dokrayth. Although sometimes treacherous, the River is still frequented as a main passage across Ga’Leah. Few, however, follow the River to its end at the Forgotten Swamp, a dangerous wetlands from which few escape unscathed.

Xehacora has become the cultural and spiritual center of Ga’Leah. It is within Xehacora that Lake Lyndai and the Isle of Affalohn lie. Hence, it is Xehacora where one will find what is believed to be the only passage into Allutheria, the world of the Faeries. Because of this, the population of Faeries and Halflings is greatest in Xehacora. The kingdom also boasts the most temples to the deities of Ga’leah, many of which have a steady attendance.

The Isle of Affalohn is the gateway to Allutheria. The Order of Fate, an organization of Faeries from both the Red and White Courts, are responsible not only for protecting the gateway, but also for keeping careful record of the magical objects that find their way into Ga’leah in the hands of the Fae. These objects are kept under careful guard unless or until they are needed. Many of the brothers and sisters of the Order see themselves as the godparents of humanity and most take small trips away from Affalohn to help a worthy human with one of those objects of power. Some have even abandoned the Order all together, but such a move is dangerous and eventually deadly to the Faery in question.

Xehacora is also home to a vast magical institution called the Sortilege where Halflings with the ability to use magic are taught to control their powers. Many of their pupils go on to serve as magical advisers to the rulers and nobility of the kingdoms of Ga’Leah.

Currently, Xehacora has had only a few isolated outbreaks of plague and the Walking Starvation seems to be confined to outlying areas which are not protected by the Queen's barrier. However, fear of the Blight still runs rampant. Thirty years ago, the dark Faery Maleficent left Allutheria. She bewitched the King into falling in love with her and birthed him three sons, all the while waiting for the chance to seize control of Xehacora from him. That time came with the Blight. She worked her magics, imprisoning the King in the dungeon, wiping all memory of him from the minds of his subjects and the King himself, and crafting a magical barrier that stretched over the most populated areas of Xehacora. The barrier will not allow any individual affected by the plague to pass through it, but the magic must be fed with regular human sacrifice.



Travel
After the High King united the Kingdoms of Ga'leah, the need for quick travel between them was determined vital to the success of the peace. To reward them for the strides they had made towards unification, the Forebearer, God of Time, created several objects of power and gifted them to each of the Kingdoms of Ga’leah.

The Shifting Silvers are large gilded mirrors placed in every Temple to the Forebearer. Large enough for a man to walk through, it is possible to use the Shifting Silvers as a nearly instantaneous portal between all human lands. Until recently, they were accessible through any Temple to the Forebearer with merely a small offering to the Temple. However, as the Walking Starvation and the Blight spread between the kingdoms, travel between the Shifting Silvers has become more complicated.

The Shifting Silvers in Dokrayth are feared destroyed by the afflicted and most fear attempting to travel through them to most locations, including the capital city, for fear of what would become of them if the corresponding Dokraythian Shifting Silvers had been destroyed or buried under the rubble of a fallen temple. Some Shifting Silvers remain in the small town of Aeswick, one of the last surviving civilizations in Dokrayth.

The Temples of the Forebearer in Xehacora are subject to the same boundary that surrounds the Kingdom itself. None infected with any aspect of the Blight can step through the mirrors into Xehacora, and so the Queen feels relatively safe. However, to prevent an influx of refugees from neighboring kingdoms, Queen Maleficent asks for a ‘contribution’ to the well-being of Xehacora to remain in residence. She also appears to have a great interest in the young women who make their way through the Shifting Silvers...

The Queen of Calladahn and Sultan of Solhara have ordered their own Shifting Silvers placed under constant guard to prevent the infected from making their way into the city through an untended mirror in another location. The Queen of Calladahn will allow individuals of wealth or useful skill to remain within the cities they have entered. Others are escorted out under heavy guard and cast out beyond the city walls to fend for themselves. A few have escaped, but not many. Solhara does not need to deal with refugees in this manner because most who attempt to escape to Solhara discover that the desert kingdom is no better off than the one they fled. Most are wise enough to return through the mirrors and those who remain are not often equipped to deal with the savage lifestyle of Solhara.

Caerleon itself has attempted to deal with the Shifting Silvers as best they can. Individuals are placed at the mirrors to dispose of the Infected as necessary. Refugees are escorted to encampments beyond the city walls that are similarly guarded. Food and water are meted out as much as possible, but the capital city is fast becoming over run and many have suggested that the Shifting Silvers be walled off completely to avoid anyone else from seeking shelter there.

Maritanis has only one set of Shifting Silvers located on the Sanctuary, a magical island in the middle of the sea where peace is enforced through heavy magic and some trade exists between the Merkind and Humanity.

Besides the Shifting Silvers, some travel between Kingdoms is possible. Before the Walking Starvation it was common to move between Kingdoms and most individuals would have an equal chance of encountering one another pre-Blight. Post-Blight, they will discover that Dokrayth is a wasteland teeming with the infected. Regular travel is virtually the only way to traverse the countryside but it is extremely dangerous. Calladahn’s major cities have been locked down and only individuals proved ‘worthy’ are allowed entrance or re-entrance should they choose to leave for some reason. Xehacora is isolated by a magical barrier that keeps the Infected from entering. Solhara remains accessible only by sea or through Calladahn’s mountain pass. Only Caerleon remains relatively accessible, but they fight a daily battle against the infected who seem drawn to the city from the surrounding countryside.

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